SKT Mastery at the SJT50k

Latest addition to the Book of Ultra-Numbers.
I raised SKT Mastery to whole new depths at Saturday's San Juan Trail 50k, finishing 14min after finish cutoff. This is a career first. Back at the campsite, I got out the matches and built a fire. ‪#‎SlowAndShit‬

First time for everything. I was playing it pretty conservative for the first 20mi. Figured I could hit the last 11 in 3 hrs. Wrong-O. Stride tightened up, trail got a lot more technical up to, then down Holy Jim, then up Horse Thief to the Divide Road. It wasn't until the last 2 miles off the top did I remember something Andy Roth had told me [letting hips relax, rolling into the stride] that I was able to open it up. But then it was too late.

When I crossed the finish line, I joked with RD Baz Hawley that it was only 23 years earlier, I'd done the late San Juan Trail 50-Mile.

"And you're just now finishing!"

Remember the hunters? they weren't looking for deer...they were looking for stragglers.

Inwardly, I'm smiling.
Hotel Bibler, with Noah's Tarp in the background.
Weather was overcast Friday night. I'd driven down early afternoon to avoid getting stuck in traffic. I  And I def didn't want to do it later on Fri night [Halloween], or way early Saturday morning. As it turned out, it started raining 9pm Fri Night. Showers off and on Sat. In SoCal terms—the apocalypse.

Reading the weather predictions, I'd dug out the Noahs Tarp from storage, last used in spring 2013. Long story short—the supplied cordage is junk--clearly designed with lawyers in mind. Those had snapped in a stiff breeze. However: 550 Paracord solves all problems. While climbing trees setting it up it occurred to me that getting back up on Sunday morning post-race was gonna be tricky. A MoraKniv solved that problem too—no need to break my neck to retrieve 4' of cord.

Harsh Conclusions

2014 was my first year back in ultras in over twelve years. Yes, I did Born To Run 50k and Mt Disappointment in 2012 after a 10 year absence. Then I sat out 2013 due to illness and injury, brought on by poor training. I began to walk, then jog by late 2013, getting up to 20-mile weeks. Slowly.

In March 2014 the clock was again reset by 10 weeks when I fractured my wrist. Five weeks in a cast, I thought I was down 5, but in reality you're down twice that. Three weeks after the cast came off, I was shuffling to a slow 7:20 BTR 50k finish. Playing catch-up is a bitch.

Fortunately or not, I'd had a summer of generous-cutoff 50ks, and serious training runs up in the San Gabriels. Endurance was coming back, speed will have to be reclaimed. 

The Sean O'Brien 50mi in early February is going to be very interesting.


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